Wednesday, 21 July 2021

No Longer Crafting


It has been a long time coming  Long overdue, I am selling/disposing much of what I have built up over the last 30+ years. I am not the same person that I was when I first started 'collecting' craft materials.

I feel quite sick at the hours wasted on buying and hoarding all this stuff.  I no longer identify as a crafter.  Although I want to be shot of reminders of my past self, it is a wrench to let go products that were a buffer between me and my depression.  With hindsight, buying stuff made me feel better and I justified buying craft materials with the excuse that I could use them to make things to bring in an income.  What I should have been doing was working on my self image and investing in looking after my own mental and physical health.

I don't know who reads this blog anymore (apart from a handful of cherished regular readers) but I want to warn them about the craft habit.  If you talk to crafters a lot of them buy craft products and hoard them without actually ever using them.  They convert spare rooms into craft rooms and sheds into craft dens.  If you are young or have recently discovered craft don't be drawn into believing you need to have everything.  I truly believe my craft habit was an addiction.  We often hear about drug addicts and alcoholics but not so often about other forms of addiction.  Yes, excess drugs and alcohol is a form of self harm and can lead to death but I would suggest that any form of addiction is harmful to the addict and to those close to them.

This blog has been mainly about craft over the years but weirdly a lot of people that read it aren't particularly into craft!  I guess it is like people that watch cooking shows but don't actually do any cooking themselves!  

I don't know which direction to take this blog into now if at all.  What on earth can I talk about?  Any ideas?

Saturday, 10 July 2021

The Future Self That Never Was

I am feeling a little melancholic.  For many years I had a dream of having my own business by making and selling handmade items.  The problem here was not knowing what to make and how much time to invest in trying out suitable crafts.  The advent of the Shopping Telly Craft Channels back in the early 1990's made it all seem so simple.  Whenever they had guests on the show the presenter would ask 'What is your Angel policy?  Can the viewers buy the product to make and sell?'  'Yes, tell 'em to fill their boots' was a response I heard frequently.  Card making was one of the first lot of crafts touted and then they went across the board showcasing all different types of craft and machines to help your work be of a professional standard.  They even sold the cellophane bags to present your cards in to sell.

Card stock, paper, glues, cutting machines, die cutting machines, card making kits, punchcraft, pergamano, felt kits, jewellery making supplies, rubber stamps, heat guns, embossing powders, stamping platforms, inks, bookbinding, etc, etc.  I bought them all (almost) and did it all.

Storage was the next big thing on the shopping telly.  Now we had all these supplies we needed storage boxes, tote bags and places to store all these items.  I even bought a shopping trolley to store items 'on the go.'  I took over the spare room and filled it with 'Really Useful Boxes' to keep my 'stock'.  They piled up to the ceiling.

An unrealistic dreamer I convinced myself that by buying all this stock I was sitting on a future investment.  I stupidly failed to realise that these people want to sell a product.  That is all.  One of the champions of selling craft products to the public via the Shopping Channel is Sara Davies of Crafter's Companion.  She is an extremely ambitious and intelligent woman who saw the profit to be made in convincing middle aged women like me that they could turn their hobbies into profit by using her tools and kits and selling the end product.  She is now on the panel of Dragon's Den.

The reality of making to sell is that if something is easy to make then it is accessible to most peoples skill set.  If I can make a decent end product from having the right equipment so can thousands of others.  There is no profit to be made from making and selling unless what you sell is original and there is a market for it.  Many years ago I read that if you want to go into business make sure you are offering a service and not a product.  I think they mean 'end' product because there is lots to be made in kits and raw supplies.

It has taken over 3 decades to accumulate so many craft materials.  I never really enjoyed making craft products because the joy was thwarted through guilt in how much I had spent.  I am tearful as I dismantle the 'craft room'.  A dream being dismantled before my eyes.  I feel crushed as I sell off that which I had built.  There is no point in hanging onto a pipe dream.

Saturday, 3 July 2021


I've been undergoing a lot of changes in the last 6 months - long hair chopped off to chin level, new image, lots of walking, lots of rearranging and tweaking in the garden and getting rid of a lot of my craft supplies.  One constant is Gizmo.  Gizmo is lovely to look at but he is vicious.  I don't blame him.  I blame his handler who used to lie him on his back and put her finger in his mouth moving it from side to side.  He had lived outdoors for the first couple of months of his life and had no human interaction until he was taken in by Cats Protection.  He is very much a wild animal and although lovable on an occasion can turn feral in an instant.  I don't think he should ever have been approved to be a regular home cat.  He would be much more suited to living in a barn and able to come and go as he pleased.  I believe that I have been his 'adopter' for the past 14 years.  




Friday, 4 June 2021

Some Garden Views June 2021

It's pouring with rain today.  I took these photos late on Tuesday evening when the sun had been shining all day.  I mowed a pathway into the long grass.  I've made it a bit wider since this photo was taken.  I intend on keeping the long grass - just mowing the path on a regular basis.  

Tiny apples are forming on my potted Braeburn tree.

The strawberry patch has turned into a wild area but I can see that there are many strawberries to come.  The photo only shows a small area.

A bright pink clematis  clings to the top of the washing line pole.  I'm not too fond of it but if it attracts the pollinators then it is fine by me.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Growing an Ecosystem

The elder tree was once a modest bush but I removed the lower branches to raise the canopy quite a few years ago.

I'm taking part in NoMowMay  in which we are encouraged to let the grass grow and encourage wild flowers to germinate to provide food for the pollinators.  After May I am going to leave the grass long and just mow a path to walk through.  

At the base of the elder tree some shoots were growing so I carefully pulled them away and planted up into pots to grow on.  Three out of the four 'cuttings' are thriving.  I am so excited at the prospect of growing my own elder trees! 

The plant above is a Rowan tree.  Much folklore lies around the Rowan and it is said to protect against evil!

I used to pull up the green alkanet (above with the blue flowers) as it is invasive but the bees love it so much and it will have to stay.  It is scattered all around the borders and grows happily alongside the rhubarb and strawberries.

The white borage has gone mad and self sown in abundance!  I bought the seeds during lockdown last year and sowed a few pots of it.  It looks almost luminous on a dull day and it is another favourite for the bees.

The water 'feature' is not too appealing to look at just now but it is essential to have water in a thriving ecosystem.

The potted apple tree - Braeburn has lost most of its pink blossom and I am hoping that it produces some apples this year.